1959 Ducati Elite 200 an Italian Classic
It just so happens that the Elite 200 “won the hearts of bike-lovers world-wide with its combination of performance and pleasure.”
The Elite engine employed a single overhead cam with enclosed valve gear and all-alloy unit construction. The powerplant produced 18bhp at 7500rpm, and given it’s extremely light weight, the motor was capable of driving the machine out past 90mph when properly tuned. A different carb setup and a hot camshaft with a steep cam angle was available to hop the machine up further.
A single-tube open frame cradle made of steel held up with telescoping forks at the front and twin, three-way adjustable shocks on the swing arm at the back. The wheels were 18-inch in diameter and a 180mm drum brake up front and a 160mm drum at the rear brought it to a halt. A 28 and a half inch seat height gave the Elite 200 a low center of gravity and made it easy to ride.
The Elite 200 sent exhaust gases through a pair of stacked chrome mufflers on the right side. The bike featured a four-speed gearbox which only came into it’s own at cruising speed in top gear, but “pulled briskly” in the lower gears at the redline.
Back in the day, a brand new 204cc Ducati Elite sold for a little over $300, but you won’t find one at that price these days.
This one, restored in Italy, is already approaching $10,000 at auction and sure to climb higher.